Now I have always been an admirer of the wonderful drawings of Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin and friends in the Beatrix Potter tales but I found the stories themselves really hard work to read to my children. For me, there was no flow to sentences and I struggled to make them entertaining for the young audience and got on a whole lot better with C S Lewis, A A Milne and Roald Dahl. Beatrix Potter was my mother's favourite, though, and maybe it is a generation thing.
There seem to have been lots of Peter Rabbits on stamps over the years too so I was quite surprised to find the lady was getting another outing - and with a second Prestige Book too! The last one was in 1993 so probably long enough ago for most people to have forgotten!
Luckily for us Machin enthusiasts, the pane of Machin stamps is still a feature and this year we have four new main line stamps to add to the lists, three from the pane and one from the Concrete & Clay booklet.
From the pane there is a 5p brown M16L MPIL with two phosphor bands, 10p tan M16L MPIL with two phosphor bands and £1.05 gooseberry green M16L MPIL also with two phosphor bands All are gummed with the usual ellipses in the perforation.I am assuming these are from Cartor. The text says International Security Printers. I believe that could be Walsall, Enschedé or Cartor nowadays.
My pane also seems to have very weak phosphot on the lower 5p such that it is almost invisible but that is more a specialist variation and, indeed, may still display as a normal line under a lamp perhaps.
In the 4+2 booklet there are four Long To Reign Over Us 1st Class amethysts O16R REIGC stamps, self adhesive.
Also in the Royal Mail envelope this morning was a new 6 x 1st booklet with a gold padlock design and The Future In Safe Hands on the reverse. I have no idea what this is all about. Is that the Royal Mail telling us that our letters and parcels are all nice and secure with them, as some sort of promotional campaign to prevent us switching to other firms?
The stamps are 1st red M16L MSIL as you'd expect and I am guessing that they are from Walsall. There is a security print background to these self adhesives too which I think will be the first for the 1st Class red. The iridescent background shows the text in quite a fat and very clear style on this issue.